Olympian Kim Rhode set history in London during the weekend, becoming the first American to medal in five straight Olympics after earning the gold medal in women’s skeet shooting Sunday, hitting an Olympic record 99 of 100 targets.
But the 33-year-old shooter still took time to stand up for the sporting culture that she says is misunderstood by the rest of the world.
In an interview with Reuters, Rhode said what we all know to be true: Shooting places responsibility and safety above all else. However, when a deranged lunatic like James Holmes gets his hands on a gun, it can have tragic consequences.
“Shooting teaches responsibility, discipline, focus and this is a sport, it’s sad when those lines get blurred by someone who was obviously disturbed,” Rhode told Reuters. “Hopefully we continue on a positive path and teach others.”
A dedicated shooter since she was a child, Rhode took her first world shooting title at the age of 13, and was the youngest member of the U.S. Shooting Team at the 1996 Atlanta Summer Games three years later. Since then, Rhode has taken three golds (Atlanta in ’96, Athens in ’04 and London) and two silvers (Sydney in 2000 and Beijing in ’08).
And she’s not done yet, adding that she has her sights set on Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
“I’m not looking at this as my last Olympics,” said Rhode. “I can go a very long time, that’s the beauty of shooting. It’s not a flash in the pan type thing. I definitely don’t see an end in sight.”